Thank you, community
Three years ago, on Aug. 19, 2009, Cpl. Mike Roberts of the Tampa Police Department was killed. My husband was on a routine call, but he didn't come home. And in an instant, a young boy lost his daddy.
You came forward that night and in the following weeks and months to help. Many people came forward to offer assistance with fundraisers and donations, and you are all in my prayers. I still read the cards and letters and find comfort that so many of you cared. Law enforcement did a remarkable job conducting the investigation.
Several businesses offered assistance, too, and I wanted to reach as many of you as possible to say "thank you:"
Florida Blood Services and those who donate blood so that others have a chance to live; Rebecca Papile and Blount & Curry Funeral Home for their compassionate, professional care; St. Timothy Church, which opened its doors for Mike's funeral Mass; Father David DeJulio, who presided over the Mass; Father Ron, who offered a grant for Adam's preschool tuition; Murray Engraving for their work adding Mike's name to the police memorial; Florida National Cemetery and Director Kurt Rotar for the dignified and solemn funeral; Ellen Rozalski, who was a rock in the aftermath; Watermark Design Company for printing services; Bryant Limousines; Moates Florist; the Tampa Bay Lightning, which honored Mike in a way no one else could, and it was a great game; The Gold Shield Foundation for its support of all our fallen heroes and their families; BTLS Foundation; Chico Garcia for the beautiful mural; Hill Ward Henderson and attorney Linda Hartley; COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors); ICNDF, which gave a boy his best furry friend; Police Unity Tour training buddies: Ellen Pierson, Doug Bienick, Tina Russo and Jeff Dickie; Apostles Lutheran Church; Patti Davidson, you are a great listener; State Attorney Mark Ober and the best assistant state attorneys, Jay Pruner and Karen Stanley; Judges Pomponio, Black and Battles; the jurors who sat through the testimony and had to watch the videos; the eyewitnesses who had the courage to come forward and testify; the courtroom personnel and detention deputies; my wonderful neighbors, including Mike Grahs, who mows the grass, and Dave DiMarco; Fox 13 reporter Alcides Segui for your kindness when I could not find the words; Rep. Shawn Harrison, who knows what it means to serve; and my family, especially mom.
If you see us in the community, please say hi, and if you knew Mike, it would be great if you share a story about him. Adam would love it.
Cindy and Adam Roberts
Costs of ID laws
Concerning your Aug. 18 editorial, "Voter ID law stops fraud:"
Yes, in the absolute, the voter ID law will stop fraud. But that should not be the issue. The issue should be how much and at what cost. Every change in any law or regulation has societal benefits and societal costs. The best example is our anti-drug law. Worthwhile goals to "stop voter fraud" or "stop drug abuse" are often pretexts to hold down a segment of the citizenry thought to engage in such activity. Other legislation recently enacted by Florida — and knocked down by the federal court — weakens my confidence that the voter ID law is not just pretext to hold down citizens who mostly vote Democrat.
A pleasing balance
We recently switched newspapers to The Tampa Tribune, and it is so refreshing to read much more balanced news than we had been getting. We really like your newspaper.
Barbara J. Theisen
New Port Richey
GOP and climate
Professor J. Marshall Shepherd notes in his Sunday Views column that John McCain and Charlie Crist have expressed concern about the risks of climate change. I just wish he had mentioned four other Republicans: former representatives Bob Inglis, Wayne Gilchrest and Sherwood Boehlert and former Secretary of State George Schultz, all of whom have urged Congress to put a price on carbon to shift our economy toward clean energy, create lucrative jobs and allow our country to finally lead the world in confronting the problem of climate change.
These Republicans have spoken with moral clarity and authority. Are Republicans in Washington listening? Are Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan listening? And if so, what will they say in response?
ID no burden
There has been a lot of hand wringing and outrage in the past few months about the undue burden on a voter to have to show a photo to vote. This has been called a racist move, anti-minority and a blatant attempt to suppress voter participation. Where is the outrage when these very same people have to show a photo ID to enter a federal building or buy cigarettes and alcohol? Or that ultimate burden, to show a photo ID to board an airplane? Is requiring a photo ID for these cases an attempt to hinder minority groups from entering federal buildings or buy certain products? Or prevent them from flying? A photo ID is an integral part of our everyday existence and should be no more a burden for voting than for other activities.